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Trend Watch: Is a Izakaya?

No "O" just yet: even after it's gone, Dot signage persists in Japantown.

Way back in the merry days of April, Michael Bauer lamented the inexplicable absence of izakayas in the Bay Area. While the rest of the country—even Phoenix, of all places—hopped on the traditional Japanese small plates/sake tavern bandwagon, San Francisco's memo somehow got lost in the mail. Mr. Bauer expressed his befuddlement:

This style of restaurant fits right in with our small plate mentality. With our passion for sushi, the mainstream acceptance of sake, our obsession for casual bar-like environments and with our love of small plates, it defies logic that this trend isn't huge.
With the recent opening of Sozai and the impending November arrival of O Izakaya Lounge in the former Japantown space of Dot (1625 Post; looming signage pictured, above), San Francisco will suddenly boast not one but two izakayas. We've already discussed the impending fro-yo wars, and a host of gourmet burger joints are slated to open this fall, but we may have a new trend slowly percolating. As Bauer said months ago, San Francisco really is the perfect town for an izakaya explosion. Might 2008 mark the year of the great San Francisco izakaya uprising?
· Izakaya: A trend that's passed us by [Between Meals]
· Japanese Tapas — Small Plates & Big Tastes [Vagablond]
· Fro-Yo Wars, Part I: North Beach Does Not Want Yogurt [~ESF~]

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